The Feeling of Cinematic Beauty
Shunji Iwai’s films are known for their unique beauty, and they have a passionate following across Asia. Iwai says the inspiration for his work comes largely from his childhood and adolescence.
The following are excerpts from our interview.
The thing about movies is that they can more or less be understood regardless of where you’re from. In that way, they have the power to move each and every one of us. As a filmmaker, that’s the kind of entertainment
I strive to create.
I think my creativity has been greatly informed by my early childhood, as well as my adolescence. And although I’ve grown up and become an adult, there has always been a part of me that identifies with those vivid memories of my youth.
You could even go so far as to say that I don’t find much to be excited about in “real” adult life. That’s how I feel. Real life is tough. The world can be a cold place. And so, while I could portray that world on screen,
I don’t think I would ever be able to present it as something that’s fresh or exciting. I really don’t think so.
“Uncompressed high definition.” As children, we experience time and reality uncompressed, and in HD. But the older and more world-weary we get, the more compressed it all becomes. We convince ourselves that tomorrow will be no different from today. Life increasingly becomes a blur. And then one day we find ourselves asking where our lives went. This is what I mean when I say that real life can be tough and cold.
That’s why it’s so important that we hold on to that wide-eyed wonder we had as children. We have to really savor the time that we do have. The here and the now. You have to linger on it. That’s been on my mind a lot these days.